Nantucket Memorial Airport

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Nantucket Memorial Airport
Nantucket Airport Logo.png
Airport typePublic
OwnerTown of Nantucket
OperatorNantucket Memorial Airport Commission
LocationNantucket, Massachusetts
Hub forCape Air
Nantucket Airlines
Tradewind Aviation
Elevation AMSL48 ft / 15 m
Coordinates41°15′10.4″N 070°03′32.4″W / 41.252889°N 70.059000°W / 41.252889; -70.059000Coordinates: 41°15′10.4″N 070°03′32.4″W / 41.252889°N 70.059000°W / 41.252889; -70.059000
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
ACK is located in Massachusetts
Location of airport in Massachusetts
ACK is located in the United States
ACK (the United States)

Nantucket Memorial Airport (IATA: ACK, ICAO: KACK, FAA LID: ACK) is a public airport on the south side of the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts, United States. It is owned by the Town of Nantucket and is located three miles (5 km) southeast of the town center.[1] It is the second-busiest airport in the state, after Logan International Airport,[2] due to intense corporate travel to and from the island in the high season.


In the late 1930s, Leslie Holm, a farmer in Nobadeer, plowed over and smoothed some of his cornfields with the help of David Raub, a former test pilot who had moved to Nantucket, and together they formed the Nobadeer Flying Service with three small planes they had bought for charter and instruction.[3] Soon, they began allowing the Town of Nantucket to use fields on his property as an airfield. Holm's farmhouse, located at the intersection of Old South and Nobadeer Farm Roads, is still standing today, although airport buildings have been built around it.[4]

During World War II, the U.S. Navy took control of the airport and operated it as Naval Auxiliary Air Facility Nantucket. The Navy constructed temporary bunkers and buildings, of which the buildings were torn down after the war. The bunkers, which were constructed using concrete and steel, are currently used for airport storage.[4]

Terminal and facilities[edit]

The airport covers 1,200 acres (490 ha) at an elevation of 48 feet (15 m) above sea level.[1] It has three asphalt runways:[1]

  • Runway 6/24: 6,303 ft × 150 ft (1,921 m × 46 m), ILS/DME equipped, with approved GPS approaches.
  • Runway 15/33: 4,500 ft × 100 ft (1,372 m × 30 m), has approved GPS approaches.
  • Runway 12/30: 2,696 ft × 50 ft (822 m × 15 m), it is used as a taxiway at night and during non-VFR conditions.

For the 12-month period ending March 31, 2017 the airport averaged of 291 operations per day:[5] 59% air taxi, 38% transient general aviation, 2% commercial, <1% military, <1% local general aviation. In that same time period there were 16 aircraft based at the airport: 14 single engine, and 2 multi-engine.

Cape Air Cessna 402 being unloaded at Nantucket in 2005

In 2009, the terminal was updated with an upgrade of the previous 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) and an expansion of 18,000 square feet (1,700 m2) at a cost of approximately $29 million. A major goal of the expansion was to increase the capacity of the terminal substantially over the original 1950s facility. Another goal was to segregate air-taxi passengers, who do not require security screening, from airline passengers, who do.[6]

The airport apron for commercial aircraft has eight parking stands for Cessna 402 aircraft mainly operated by Cape Air and Nantucket Airlines. There are also four larger parking stands for JetBlue Embraer 190 jets, American Eagle Airlines CRJ-200/CRJ-700/CRJ-900 and Embraer 175 regional jets , Delta Connection CRJ-200 regional jets and United Express ERJ-145 regional jets. More stands are available if needed. Most of the parking is reserved for general aviation aircraft, with parking for the larger, commercial services located on the north side of the terminal.

A JetBlue Embraer ERJ 190-100 parked on the apron at Nantucket Regional Airport in 2017

Airlines and destinations[edit]


American Eagle Seasonal: Charlotte,[7] Chicago–O'Hare (begins June 26, 2021), New York–LaGuardia (resumes June 25, 2021), Philadelphia,[8] Washington–National
Cape Air Boston, Hyannis, Martha's Vineyard, New Bedford, New York–JFK[9]
Seasonal: White Plains
Delta Connection Seasonal: New York–JFK (resumes May 28, 2021), New York–LaGuardia
Elite Airways White Plains (begins May 27, 2021)
JetBlue Seasonal: Boston, Newark (begins July 1, 2021), New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia (resumes May 6, 2021),[10] Washington–National, White Plains[10]
Nantucket Airlines Hyannis
Reliant Air Seasonal charter: Danbury, White Plains
Southern Airways Express Seasonal: Hyannis, New Bedford, Norwood, Providence (all resume May 26, 2021)
Tradewind Aviation Seasonal charter: Teterboro, White Plains
United Express Seasonal: Newark, Washington–Dulles


FedEx Feeder Providence[11]

Historical airline service[edit]

The departures gate inside Nantucket in 2020

Up through the 1990s, a variety of airlines served Nantucket, some of which used jet airliners as large as the McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 which was operated into the airport in 1969 on a seasonal basis during the summer months by Northeast Airlines on nonstop flights to New York JFK Airport and Hyannis with Northeast also serving Nantucket with Fairchild Hiller FH-227 turboprops at this time.[12] Major air carrier Continental Airlines also served the airport in the past with DC-9-30 jets. Business Express, a Delta Connection air carrier operating on behalf of Delta Air Lines, also operated seasonal jet flights into Nantucket utilizing British Aerospace BAe 146-200 aircraft. The Official Airline Guide (OAG) lists several commuter and regional airlines serving Nantucket over the years. In the spring of 1975, Air New England was the only airline serving the airport according to the OAG with this commuter air carrier operating Beechcraft 99 and de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter turboprops as well as Douglas DC-3 prop aircraft.[13] By the fall of 1979, small air carriers Gull Air, Hyannis Aviation and Nor-East Commuter Airlines had joined Air New England at the airport.[14] Up until 1989, Provincetown-Boston Airlines (PBA) served Nantucket, using Douglas DC-3 prop aircraft and NAMC YS-11 turboprops.[15] PBA also operated Eastern Express flights into the airport on behalf of Eastern Airlines with DC-3 aircraft.[16] Continental Express flying on behalf of Continental operated ATR 42, Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia and Saab 340 regional turboprop airliners into the airport in the past.[17] US Airways Express previously served Nantucket in the past as well on behalf of US Airways with de Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 and Saab 340 turboprops.[18] In June 1999, five airlines were serving Nantucket according to the OAG: Cape Air operating Cessna 402 commuter aircraft, Continental Express flying Beechcraft 1900 commuter turboprops, Delta Connection operated by Business Express Airlines flying Saab 340 regional turboprops, Island Airlines operating Cessna commuter prop aircraft and US Airways Express flying Beechcraft 1900 and de Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 turboprops.[19]

Air Force Two at Nantucket[edit]

The airport is currently home to a variety of general aviation aircraft, ranging from Piper J-3 Cubs to Boeing Business Jets in the summer months. The 46th President of the United States and former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden visited the island on seven Thanksgiving holidays during his eight-year term, arriving and departing on board a U.S. Air Force operated Boeing 757-200 (USAF aircraft designation Boeing C-32) flying as Air Force Two and was accompanied by a USAF operated Boeing C-17 Globemaster III cargo jet. The 757 and C-17 are currently the largest aircraft ever to land and takeoff from Nantucket. The largest regularly scheduled passenger airliner flown in mainline service was the McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 jet operated by Northeast and Continental. Currently, the largest commercial jetliner serving the airport is the Embraer 190 operated by JetBlue.


Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from ACK (May 2018 – April 2019)
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Boston, Massachusetts 36,660 Cape Air, JetBlue
2 New York–JFK, New York 33,860 Cape Air, Delta Connection, JetBlue
3 Hyannis, Massachusetts 16,610 Cape Air, Nantucket Airlines, Rectix Shuttle
4 Washington–National, D.C. 10,900 American Airlines, JetBlue
5 Newark, New Jersey 7,050 United Airlines
6 New Bedford, Massachusetts 6,010 Cape Air
7 New York–LaGuardia, New York 5,690 American Airlines, Delta Airlines, JetBlue, Rectrix Shuttle
8 White Plains, New York 3,700 Cape Air, JetBlue
9 Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts 750 Cape Air
10 Charlotte, North Carolina 650 American Airlines

Airline market share[edit]

Largest airlines at ACK (August 2019 – July 2020)[20]
Rank Airline Passengers Share
1 JetBlue 59,310 36.04%
2 Cape Air 58,700 35.67%
3 Republic Airways 20,450 12.43%
4 Commutair 9,780 5.94%


  • On the evening of August 15, 1958, Northeast Airlines Flight 258, a Convair CV-240-2 crashed 0.3 mi (0.48 km) northeast of ACK attempting a VOR instrument approach to runway 24 in heavy fog. The aircraft struck the ground 1,450 ft (440 m) short of the runway and 600 ft (180 m) to the right of the extended centerline. Of the 34 on board, 22 passengers and three crew members died. Pilot error was the cause of the accident.[21]


  1. ^ a b c FAA Airport Form 5010 for ACK PDF, retrieved 2007-03-15
  2. ^ "Nantucket, MA - Official Website | Official Website". Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  3. ^ ""Early Aviation on Nantucket" Historic Nantucket article from the Nantucket Historical Association". Retrieved 2017-11-19.
  4. ^ a b Nantucket Master Airport Plan, Chapter 3. Accessed May 4, 2014
  5. ^ "AirNav: KACK - Nantucket Memorial Airport". Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  6. ^ Gerber, Greg (September–October 2009). "Nantucket Memorial Expands & Modernizes Without Losing Island Charm". Airport Improvement Magazine. Archived from the original on 2014-05-05. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  7. ^ "American Airlines plans additional domestic routes in S18". RoutesOnline. December 17, 2017. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  8. ^ "20 New Routes for Summer 2020". American Airlines Newsroom. November 21, 2019. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  9. ^ "Cape Air will soon offer year-round service to NYC from these local airport |".
  10. ^ a b "Start Planning for Summer Now with More JetBlue Service to Nantucket Next Year". November 13, 2018.
  11. ^ "On the Road with FedEx: Feeder Planes on Nantucket". FedEx. December 28, 2018. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  12. ^, June 1, 1969 Northeast Airlines system timetable
  13. ^, April 15, 1975 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Nantucket flight schedules
  14. ^, Nov. 15, 1979 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Nantucket flight schedules
  15. ^, photos of PBA aircraft at Nantucket
  16. ^, photo of PBA/Eastern Express DC-3 aircraft at Nantucket
  17. ^, photos of Continental Express aircraft at Nantucket
  18. ^, photos of US Airways Express aircraft at Nantucket
  19. ^, June 1, 1999 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Nantucket flight schedules
  20. ^ "Nantucket, MA: Nantucket Memorial (ACK)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. May 2011. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  21. ^ Accident description for N90670 at the Aviation Safety Network

External links[edit]